Growing with god: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16 (MSG)
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
“You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.” -AMPLIFIED
The New Year is just days away and I am sure that a majority of us have been thinking about the coming New Year and wondering what it will hold. Some will be considering what they will do for their New Year’s resolution. Others will be planning out their new budget for the coming year. A few may be expecting BIG changes in the coming year, so they are calculating and preparing the best they can. All of us though should be taking some time to analyse and appraise our spiritual life from this past year and spend some time in prayer preparing ourselves for the coming year.
Jesus told His followers that they were the light of the world. Now bear in mind that it is a little “the” because for He is THE LIGHT. (Remember though, we are to emulate Jesus.) As lights we are to be doing one specific job, shining! To shine is to illuminate, enlighten, bring light, radiate and to spread out.
There is a purpose for all this shining too. It is so that we may point others to the Father and in so doing bring glory to Him. The Apostle Paul shared these thoughts with the Corinthians, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]. But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him], that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but canceling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation [that is, restoration to favor with God].” -1 Corinthians 5:17-19 (AMP)
As new creatures we are to be shining Jesus to the World. Have we been doing that as we should? Hmmm…that is something that each individual must assess for themselves. Sadly though, I think most of us can say that there is much room for improvement in our lives.
So, how do we go about shining Jesus more? Here are a few thoughts and ideas that may get you thinking in that direction:
1.) We need to pray more and seek God’s face. (1 Chronicles 16:11)
2.) We need to love others more and seek our own agenda a whole lot less. (Galatians 6:2)
3.) We need to remember to always have a servant’s heart. (Philippians 2:3-5)
4.) We need to have faith and trust God completely. (Hebrews 11:6)
5.) We need to have boldness, even when confronted by the Enemy. (2 Corinthians 4:8-10)
6.) We need to be willing to sacrifice for the good of others. (Hebrews 13:16)
7.) We need to be willing to step out of our comfort zone. (Joshua 1:9 and 2 Timothy 1:7)
8.) We must speak the truth is love, always. (Ephesians 4:15)
9.) We need to remember whose we are. (1 John 4:4)
10.) We need to reflect Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
As the Apostle Paul reminded the Philippians on how they should live their lives; let us too live ours. “In other words, adopt the mind-set of Jesus the Anointed. Live with His attitude in your hearts.” -Philippians 2:5 (VOICE)
“What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us, who can be [successful] against us?” -Romans 8:31 (AMP)
Lord Jesus, may my life be a reflection of yours. I want to let my light shine bright; pointing others to you. In this coming year may I consciously make an effort to focus more on you and my testimony for you. Let others see not me, but you in me; I pray. Be glorified in me!